The Rundown: FantasyScore Week 9

A weekly guide to FantasyScore's Salary Cap and Draft-and-Go contests

One thing you might have noticed while looking through the value probabilities in last week's piece is how the extremes differ between positions. For instance, the defense most likely to achieve value in cash games was Oakland at 84.6%, while the least likely was Denver at 41.7%. In short, even the least valuable defense was a mere 3-to-2 underdog to achieve value in cash games. Contrast these figures with the other positions, and you see that top defenses aren't prohibitively expensive in FantasyScore's salary cap games:

 P(CASH)P(GPP)
PosLowHighLowHigh
QB 14.9% 69.4% 1.1% 48.7%
RB 6.4% 68.4% 0.9% 62.4%
WR 5.7% 66.3% 1.2% 67.7%
TE 8.8% 71.6% 0.7% 69.1%
DEF 41.7% 84.6% 22.5% 79.7%

One way to summarize and interpret the information in this table is by comparing positions within each column, like so:

  • In cash games, the lowest-likelihood defense is a far better bet than the lowest-likelihood quarterback, with lowest-likelihood players at the other three positions clustered at probabilities around half as likely as the lowest-likelihood quarterback.
  • In cash games, the highest-likelihood defense remains the best bet between positions, but the gap isn't as large. Also, the highest-likelihood quarterback is now in the highest-likelihood RB/WR/TE cluster.
  • In GPPs, the lowest-likelihood defense is now a far better bet than the lowest-likelihood player at all other positions, which cluster around 1.0%.
  • In GPPs, the highest-likelihood defense remains the best bet between positions, but the gap isn't as large. In addition, the highest-likelihood quarterback is now the worst bet by far, falling well below the highest-likelihood RB/WR/TE cluster.

Putting this altogether, we can arrive at a few lineup construction strategies based solely on how FantasyScore's pricing and scoring systems lead to different value probabilities between positions. First and foremost, as even the least-likelihood defense is still a decent bet to achieve value in both types of games, don't worry too much about value, especially in cash games. Second, as even the least-likelihood quarterback still has around a 1-in-7 chance of achieving value in cash games, lean more towards value in GPPs. Finally, as the lowest-likelihood players at the other three positions face about 19-to-1 (or worse) odds, definitely try to maximize value, especially in GPPs.

OK, onto the value probabilities for Week 9, which you'll see largely mimic the overall positional trend shown above.

quarterbacks

Below are the quarterbacks with the highest (and lowest) probabilities of achieving value in cash games and GPPs:

MOST LIKELY TO ACHIEVE VALUE
NAME TM SALARY AVG P(CASH) NAME TM SALARY MAX P(GPP)
Kirk Cousins WAS 4900 18.3 72.0% Kirk Cousins WAS 4900 18.7 44.1%
Ryan Fitzpatrick NYJ 5700 17.6 52.9% Ryan Fitzpatrick NYJ 5700 18.9 26.1%
Tom Brady NWE 8900 27.1 52.2% Jay Cutler CHI 6800 22.0 19.7%
LEAST LIKELY TO ACHIEVE VALUE
NAME TM SALARY AVG P(CASH) NAME TM SALARY MAX P(GPP)
Andrew Luck IND 8300 18.5 14.5% Andrew Luck IND 8300 19.7 1.3%
Aaron Rodgers GNB 8800 20.2 15.2% Aaron Rodgers GNB 8800 21.9 1.5%
Blake Bortles JAC 7300 17.8 24.8% Drew Brees NOR 8500 23.5 4.3%

Fitzpatrick, Rodgers, and Luck are repeats from last week, signifying that their salaries and matchups are similar in caliber. Unlike last week, however, I'd stay away from Fitpatrick given his thumb injury, while I wouldn't necessarily avoid Rodgers in cash games because he's poised for a bounce back and, as discussed above, 15.2% isn't a prohibitively low probability.

Among other quarterbacks in the table, Kirk Cousins is the clear value play in GPPs. Cousins is also an appealing option in cash games, but his counterpart in New England represents an opportunity to pay up at quarterback and still have a better-than-50-percent chance of him achieving value.

running backs

Below are the running backs with the highest (and lowest) probabilities of achieving value in cash games and GPPs:

MOST LIKELY TO ACHIEVE VALUE
NAME TM SALARY AVG P(CASH) NAME TM SALARY MAX P(GPP)
Dexter McCluster TEN 3000 9.7 53.8% Antone Smith CHI 2000 7.2 45.6%
Chris Thompson WAS 2900 8.9 51.0% Dexter McCluster TEN 3000 10.8 43.5%
Marcel Reece OAK 2300 6.5 47.8% Christine Michael DAL 2500 8.5 41.9%
C.J. Spiller NOR 4400 12.4 45.6% Chris Thompson WAS 2900 9.8 40.3%
Antone Smith CHI 2000 5.0 44.3% Taiwan Jones OAK 2000 6.2 40.3%
LEAST LIKELY TO ACHIEVE VALUE
NAME TM SALARY AVG P(CASH) NAME TM SALARY MAX P(GPP)
Alfred Morris WAS 5500 5.3 6.2% Adrian Peterson MIN 8300 16.9 1.3%
Eddie Lacy GNB 7000 11.9 10.7% Alfred Morris WAS 5500 6.2 1.5%
Adrian Peterson MIN 8300 15.9 10.9% Eddie Lacy GNB 7000 13.3 2.2%
Ryan Mathews PHI 5800 8.5 11.0% Ryan Mathews PHI 5800 9.2 2.8%
Kendall Gaskins SFO 4500 6.0 15.1% Todd Gurley STL 8600 20.9 3.2%

This table continues the game script story told for quarterbacks: Washington is highly likely to be throwing the ball for most of the game. In the last table, that boosted Cousins' value. In this one, it benefits Thompson, their primary back in passing situations, and hurts Morris, their primary back in rushing situations. The only thing making Thompson somewhat risky as a value play is the non-zero chance that he reaggravates his back injury.

Among other high-likelihood running backs, C.J. Spiller's value in cash games comes from his projection increasing due to Khiry Robinson's season-ending injury, and FantasyScore not fully adjusting his salary to reflect it.

Based on the above, it makes the most sense to use Spiller in cash games and Thompson in GPPs, paring them with someone like Devonta Freeman in both types of games.

wide receivers

Below are the wide receivers with the highest (and lowest) probabilities of achieving value in cash games and GPPs:

MOST LIKELY TO ACHIEVE VALUE
NAME TM SALARY AVG P(CASH) NAME TM SALARY MAX P(GPP)
Dwayne Harris NYG 2000 9.3 66.8% Harry Douglas TEN 2000 11.5 67.7%
Harry Douglas TEN 2000 9.1 65.8% Dwayne Harris NYG 2000 10.4 62.4%
Dorial Green-Beckham TEN 2200 9.2 63.2% Dorial Green-Beckham TEN 2200 11.0 61.4%
Justin Hunter TEN 2000 7.5 57.6% Jeremy Kerley NYJ 2000 10.1 60.9%
Jeremy Kerley NYJ 2000 6.9 54.7% Jerome Simpson SFO 2000 9.3 56.8%
Nelson Agholor PHI 2000 6.6 53.1% Justin Hunter TEN 2000 9.2 56.3%
Andre Johnson IND 3300 10.5 52.9% Griff Whalen IND 2000 8.5 52.6%
Marquess Wilson CHI 3100 9.7 52.0% Nelson Agholor PHI 2000 7.5 47.4%
Kenny Stills MIA 2000 6.4 51.9% Bryan Walters JAC 2000 7.2 45.8%
Steve Johnson SDG 5000 15.2 51.1% Kenny Stills MIA 2000 6.8 43.7%
LEAST LIKELY TO ACHIEVE VALUE
NAME TM SALARY AVG P(CASH) NAME TM SALARY MAX P(GPP)
Dez Bryant DAL 8400 14.1 7.2% James Jones GNB 6600 9.9 1.5%
James Jones GNB 6600 9.4 8.5% Dez Bryant DAL 8400 17.3 1.6%
Allen Robinson JAC 7500 13.6 11.9% Julian Edelman NWE 8200 17.6 2.3%
Pierre Garcon WAS 6000 9.4 12.8% Jarvis Landry MIA 7400 14.6 2.4%
Jarvis Landry MIA 7400 14.2 14.6% Allen Robinson JAC 7500 15.3 2.7%
Tavon Austin STL 6700 12.2 15.0% Emmanuel Sanders DEN 7800 16.8 2.9%
Emmanuel Sanders DEN 7800 15.7 15.4% Tavon Austin STL 6700 13.0 3.5%
Julian Edelman NWE 8200 17.0 15.9% Pierre Garcon WAS 6000 10.2 3.5%
Stefon Diggs MIN 7100 14.3 17.9% Stefon Diggs MIN 7100 14.8 3.7%
Odell Beckham Jr Jr NYG 8500 18.6 18.1% Odell Beckham Jr Jr NYG 8500 21.2 4.6%

(Note: At 0.1%, T.Y. Hilton is actually the worst GPP value, but I left him off the list because his projected points is a byproduct of his status as a game-time decision.)

Perhaps no other wide receiving corps has a larger FantasyScore salary gap between the best and the rest than that of the Titans. So with Kendall Wright ruled out for Week 9, "the rest" immediately become value plays. Among talent scouts I trust, the ship seems to have sailed on Hunter. Meanwhile, Green-Beckham hasn't shown anything to instill confidence. Therefore, I think Douglas is the best value option of the three, especially in GPPs. However, that's only a mild endorsement given the drama that transpired in Tennessee during their week of preparation for New Orleans.

On the other end of the spectrum, Dez Bryant, Julian Edelman, and Odell Beckham Jr Jr. are wide receivers to avoid in all formats; Bryant because of his replacement-level quarterback and the other two because they're simply too expensive. You can use similarly priced players like Alshon Jeffery, Demaryius Thomas, or Antonio Brown and enjoy a higher likelihood of your lineup achieving value.

tight ends

Below are the tight ends with the highest (and lowest) probabilities of achieving value in cash games and GPPs:

MOST LIKELY TO ACHIEVE VALUE
NAME TM SALARY AVG P(CASH) NAME TM SALARY MAX P(GPP)
Will Tye NYG 1700 8.3 70.1% Will Tye NYG 1700 10.1 70.9%
Zach Ertz PHI 3900 10.0 39.0% Coby Fleener IND 3800 12.3 31.4%
Ben Watson NOR 4600 12.1 39.0% Zach Ertz PHI 3900 11.0 22.2%
LEAST LIKELY TO ACHIEVE VALUE
NAME TM SALARY AVG P(CASH) NAME TM SALARY MAX P(GPP)
Jordan Reed WAS 7200 14.1 10.5% Jordan Cameron MIA 5200 8.4 1.9%
Jordan Cameron MIA 5200 7.5 8.9% Charles Clay BUF 6300 12.3 1.6%
Charles Clay BUF 6300 10.6 8.3% Jordan Reed WAS 7200 14.9 1.0%

(Note: At 67.3% for cash games and 64.3% for GPPs, Garrett Celek is actually the second-best value at tight end this week, but I left him off the list because he was still in the league's concussion protocol on Friday, which doesn't bode well for his availability on Sunday.)

No mystery here. In both formats, Tye is the clear value pick this week, while Cameron, Clay, and Reed are the tight ends to avoid.

defenses

Below are the defenses with the highest (and lowest) probabilities of achieving value in cash games and GPPs:

MOST LIKELY TO ACHIEVE VALUE
NAME TM SALARY AVG P(CASH) NAME TM SALARY MAX P(GPP)
Atlanta Falcons ATL 2000 11.5 84.8% New Orleans Saints NOR 1900 11.6 77.5%
New Orleans Saints NOR 1900 11.0 84.1% Atlanta Falcons ATL 2000 11.7 75.7%
Oakland Raiders OAK 1300 8.5 80.4% Oakland Raiders OAK 1300 8.8 75.2%
LEAST LIKELY TO ACHIEVE VALUE
NAME TM SALARY AVG P(CASH) NAME TM SALARY MAX P(GPP)
Carolina Panthers CAR 3000 8.6 46.5% Carolina Panthers CAR 3000 8.7 26.7%
St. Louis Rams STL 3200 11.1 60.7% St. Louis Rams STL 3200 11.9 43.3%
NY Giants NYG 2500 9.0 60.7% Miami Dolphins MIA 2400 8.8 44.0%

Once again, the defense playing San Francisco has among the highest likelihoods of achieving value. And now the 49ers are starting Blaine Gabbert! Similarly, the Saints are facing the aforementioned Titans offense missing Kendall Wright, and so they're another good value if that's the route you want to take. Of course, I advised same last week, and New Orleans rewarded us by giving up 49 points to the Giants.

If, as I discussed earlier, you don't mind paying up for a defense, just be sure to avoid Carolina. Every other defense has at least an even-money chance to achieve value in cash games and is at most a 3-to-2 underdog to achieve value in GPPs.

week 9 draft lists

Finally, to supplement the statistics-based strategies I recommended earlier in the season, here are the VBD draft lists you should use for FantasyScore's Draft-N-Go (DNG) games:

2-Person DNGs5-Person DNGs8-Person DNGs
NAMEPOSTMNAMEPOSTmNAMEPOSTM
Devonta Freeman RB ATL Devonta Freeman RB ATL Julio Jones WR ATL
Julio Jones WR ATL Julio Jones WR ATL Devonta Freeman RB ATL
Alshon Jeffery WR CHI Alshon Jeffery WR CHI Alshon Jeffery WR CHI
Tom Brady QB NWE Antonio Brown WR PIT Antonio Brown WR PIT
Antonio Brown WR PIT Demaryius Thomas WR DEN Demaryius Thomas WR DEN
Demaryius Thomas WR DEN Tom Brady QB NWE Odell Beckham Jr Jr WR NYG
Rob Gronkowski TE NWE Rob Gronkowski TE NWE Rob Gronkowski TE NWE
Odell Beckham Jr Jr WR NYG Odell Beckham Jr Jr WR NYG Tom Brady QB NWE
Todd Gurley RB STL Todd Gurley RB STL Brandon Marshall WR NYJ
Denver Broncos DEF DEN Antonio Gates TE SDG Julian Edelman WR NWE
Dion Lewis RB NWE Brandon Marshall WR NYJ Amari Cooper WR OAK
Brandon Marshall WR NYJ Julian Edelman WR NWE Antonio Gates TE SDG
Julian Edelman WR NWE Amari Cooper WR OAK Michael Crabtree WR OAK
Drew Brees QB NOR Dion Lewis RB NWE Martavis Bryant WR PIT
Antonio Gates TE SDG Michael Crabtree WR OAK Todd Gurley RB STL
Mark Ingram II RB NOR Mark Ingram II RB NOR Randall Cobb WR GNB
Amari Cooper WR OAK Martavis Bryant WR PIT Mike Evans WR TAM
NY Jets DEF NYJ Randall Cobb WR GNB Emmanuel Sanders WR DEN
      Mike Evans WR TAM Greg Olsen TE CAR
      Greg Olsen TE CAR Steve Johnson WR SDG
      Denver Broncos DEF DEN Eric Decker WR NYJ
      Emmanuel Sanders WR DEN Dion Lewis RB NWE
      NY Jets DEF NYJ Mark Ingram II RB NOR
      New England Patriots DEF NWE Brandin Cooks WR NOR
      Drew Brees QB NOR Stefon Diggs WR MIN
      Steve Johnson WR SDG Jarvis Landry WR MIA
      Eric Decker WR NYJ Dez Bryant WR DAL
      Adrian Peterson RB MIN Allen Hurns WR JAC
      Philip Rivers QB SDG Allen Robinson WR JAC
      Chris Ivory RB NYJ Delanie Walker TE TEN
      Darren McFadden RB DAL Jordan Reed TE WAS
      Doug Martin RB TAM Drew Brees QB NOR
      Atlanta Falcons DEF ATL Adrian Peterson RB MIN
      Brandin Cooks WR NOR Chris Ivory RB NYJ
      DeMarco Murray RB PHI Darren McFadden RB DAL
      Stefon Diggs WR MIN Martellus Bennett TE CHI
      Cam Newton QB CAR Philip Rivers QB SDG
      Jarvis Landry WR MIA Denver Broncos DEF DEN
      Dez Bryant WR DAL Doug Martin RB TAM
      Delanie Walker TE TEN Jordan Matthews WR PHI
      Eli Manning QB NYG Rishard Matthews WR MIA
      DeAngelo Williams RB PIT DeMarco Murray RB PHI
      Jordan Reed TE WAS Donte Moncrief WR IND
      Allen Hurns WR JAC Willie Snead IV WR NOR
      St. Louis Rams DEF STL Brandon LaFell WR NWE
            Malcom Floyd WR SDG
            NY Jets DEF NYJ
            DeAngelo Williams RB PIT
            Cam Newton QB CAR
            LeSean McCoy RB BUF
            Tavon Austin WR STL
            Sammy Watkins WR BUF
            Eli Manning QB NYG
            New England Patriots DEF NWE
            Danny Woodhead RB SDG
            Lamar Miller RB MIA
            Ben Watson TE NOR
            Atlanta Falcons DEF ATL
            Rueben Randle WR NYG
            Ben Roethlisberger QB PIT
            Ted Ginn Jr WR CAR
            St. Louis Rams DEF STL
            New Orleans Saints DEF NOR
            T.J. Yeldon RB JAC
            Philadelphia Eagles DEF PHI
            Jeremy Langford RB CHI
            Aaron Rodgers QB GNB
            Derek Carr QB OAK
            Jonathan Stewart RB CAR
            Jason Witten TE DAL
            Buffalo Bills DEF BUF
            Andre Johnson WR IND


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